Station: Manistee, MI

C&O Manistee DepotPM Depot and Manistee Iron Works M&NE lumber train Manistee MI railroads Manistee MI railroadsManistee Street Railway Manistee is the county seat of Manistee County and was founded about 1840. A sawmill was located here in 1841 and the town became a city in 1869. [MPN]

In 1871, most of the town was wiped out by a fire. The town was rebuilt. In 1880, business interests drilled successfully for brine and the city became a producer of salt products.

Photo Info: Top, the C&O depot in Manistee in the 1970's. [Craig Gardner], 2nd photo, a view of the Manistee Iron Works. The railroad bridge can be seen at the left. [CMUL]. 3rd photo, M&NE No. 1 looking north, just north of Manistee Yard in 1907. [Charles Showalter]. 4th photo, the 2004 "end of the Line" of the former Manistee & Northeastern main line running north out of Manistee. The line curing to the right is the CSX line which runs north around the lake and then south to Walhalla, Baldwin and finally Grand Rapids. [Charles Showalter]. 5th photo, the railroad company store room at Manistee in 1908. [Charles Showalter collection]. 6th photo a street trolley in downtown Manistee in a postcard view.


The PM purchased some 35 acres of  land and a number of hundred feet of water frontage on the lake, where a depot and round house are in course of erection. [DFP-1881-1214]

The PM had a 70' hand operated turntable in Manistee, in place as of 1942.

Time Line

1881. December. The F&PM for the first time ran trains over its Manistee branch into the City. The passengers having hitherto left the cars at Stronach, five miles away, and transported across Manistee Lake by steamer. [DFP-1881-1229]

1888. October 12. Early yesterday the Manistee & Northeastern railroad commenced laying track past the Sorenson boarding house. As soon as Mrs. Sorenson discovered the workmen laying the track she, with revolver in hand, went to the workmen and demanded that they desist. They refused, whereupon she ordered a rocking chair to be brought out and, planting it across two ties, she occupied the chair throughout the day, all night and until 5 o'clock this evening, preventing the men from laying the rail, at which hour she was arrested and placed in jail, charged with obstructing the building and operating of railroads. 'DFP-1888-1012]

1889. January 14. The first passenger train was run over the M&NE railroad on Sunday last. The train consisted of the new engine and tender, a combination smoking and baggage car, and one coach. The engine and coach arrived at Manistee from the east on Thursday, this being the second of the company's engines to arrive. [DFP-1889-0114]

1890. The M&NE has built a large freight and passenger depot at the head of Third street in this city, enlarged their roundhouse, constructed a dock. [DDFP-1890-1231]

1902. The PM installs a two stall  frame engine house at Manistee, replacing one which recently burned. [MCR-1903]

1902. The M&NE noon train, being late, came into the city at a high speed. At Monroe street crossing it struck the rear end of a trolley car and seriously damaged it. A young man from Frankfort had his foot split open and was taken to Mercy hospital. The trolly car was full of passengers most of whom were badly shaken. [DFP-1902-0605]

1910. August 13. Frank Kulka, single, of Filer City, was killed last night by a logging train on the Manistee & Luther railroad. Kulka was going east on a railroad velocipede and fell asleep as a result of heaving drinking. About midnight the incoming train struck him and his body was horribly mangled. [DFP-1910-0814]

1916. The Michigan East & West builds a new station at Manistee. They also build a new coaling station, water tank and turntable here. [MCR-1916]

1936. Dec. 6. Fire destroyed the M&NE railway's roundhouse at the edge of the city Sunday. The loss was $150,000. Five locomotives., a storehouse, a paint shop and all equipment in the building were destroyed. The loss was covered in full by insurance. The only things salvaged were one locomotive, one passenger coach and two snow plows. [DFP-1936-1207]


  • Buckley & Douglas.
  • Manistee Iron Works
  • Manistee Manufacturing Co.
  • Sands Salt &I Lumber Co.
  • West Michigan Flooring Mill



The following sources are utilized in this website. [SOURCE-YEAR-MMDD-PG]:

  • [AAB| = All Aboard!, by Willis Dunbar, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids ©1969.
  • [AAN] = Alpena Argus newspaper.
  • [AARQJ] = American Association of Railroads Quiz Jr. pamphlet. © 1956
  • [AATHA] = Ann Arbor Railroad Technical and Historical Association newsletter "The Double A"
  • [AB] = Information provided at Michigan History Conference from Andrew Bailey, Port Huron, MI

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